Our schedule for the programming phase of the Monastery has been slightly adjusted. Please note the revisions on the calendar tab of the blog or download the latest calendar here (120125__12F_A306_Calendar).
Our first step will be to investigate the building typology and program through an intensive research and precedent analysis phase.
– research and document specific monastery precedents for comparison and analysis
– develop a detailed space program from your research and building planning exercises
At a minimum, you must answer the following questions with your research:
What is the general history of the Monastic Orders? Why, how, where and when did they exist
Key spatial/architectural differences between the architecture of the various orders?
Typical daily routines of the Cistercian Order?
What relationship do each of the orders have with the public/outside world?
- The Abbey Church of the St. John’s Benedictine Monastery by Marcel Breuer
- Baldegg Monastery, Hochdorf, Switzerland (1968-1972) by Marcel Breuer
- The Abbey at Vaals by Hans van der Hejden (Hans van der Laan)
- Monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur, Czech Republic by John Pawson.
- Tautra Monastery, Tautra, Norway, Jensen and Skodvin
- Knocktopher Friary, ODOS Architects
- Fountains Abbey: Yorkshire, 1132ad
- Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, Provence, 1148ad
- Mont Saint Michel, Normandy France, 6thc
- Rila Monastery, Bulgaria, 10thc
- Fontenay Abbey, Burgundy France, 12thc
- Santa Maria de Poblet – Catalonia Spain, 12thc
- Cluny Abbey, Burgundy France
- Batalha Monastery, Portugal Spain
- St. Germain-des-Prés, Paris, 6th century
precedent research (due Friday, February 3rd, or as decided by your studio instructor):
From the below list, select a precedent and research and document the project in an agreed upon and standardized format within your own studios. At the minimum, you are to document the following for each project:
When was the monastery built and how long did it operate?
Where is it located? Is there a reason behind the location? Are there unique site conditions?
What are the programmatic components of each monastery? Label and similarly color code each of the typical spaces including Cloister, Church, Chapter House, Chapel, Refectory, Library, Sleeping Quarters.
What is the size, layout, scale and orientation of each project. Provide labeled plans at equal scales.
Architectural materials and structural systems?
Key similarities and differences between precedent and conventional monastic order if any?
Entry points for public and private users?
precedent analysis (due Friday, February 3rd, or as decided by your studio instructor):
The precedent study must go beyond the simple copying of existing photography or documentation found on the web. The investigation of the precedent requires a more critical method of analysis – by drawing the floor plan (even by tracing), you will inevitably develop a deeper understanding.
What are the component parts of the building? Can you break it down by space, structure, circulation, etc? Can you explain why?
space program (due Monday, February 6th, 2pm or as decided by your studio instructor)-
On Friday, February 3rd, we will have an in studio workshop to develop the basic building planning ‘building blocks’ for each space in the program. NOTE TO ALL: BRING YOUR LAPTOPS TO STUDIO. In studio, we will each draw the basic ‘building blocks’ in both plan and section to house each specified functions of the program. We will use what we have learned about each of the spaces through our research to construct the required space (size and scale, not design) and use these establish the square footages and volumes detailed within your own individual space program spreadsheet.
Art Institute of Chicago
January 14, 2012
Paola Arce and Maryana Heilman
You have all seen his work, and even if every time you admire one of his building or look at a building and think: “Oh, that looks like that one building down by the river, wonder if they are by the same Architect?” Well the answer is most likely “YES, it is another Bertrand Goldberg Building.”
Most famous for the iconic Marina City Towers, Mr. Goldberg’s works are represented not only all around Chicago, but throughout the country. The exhibit, which we had the pleasure to catch on its last weekend at the Art Institute, highlighted some of the great works by the architect which innovated the way people saw apartment living.
What we immediately noticed upon entering the exhibit was that the panel right in front of the door was actually made out of concrete! How cool! So we looked around it, touched it, took a picture of it. This entrance piece, very appropriate to Mr. Goldberg’s work, was a two panel curved piece with 2×4’s imprinted on the concrete about 10 feet tall. This piece immediately created a barrier from preceding forward which forced us to go left or right. There was no clear path as to which one to take so we both went in different directions meeting up at different spots along the way. The exhibit itself was designed by John Ronan Architects. The exhibit space actually corresponded with Mr. Goldberg’s work which we didn’t quite understand until we experienced the gallery space in a floor plan. . His earlier works were displayed in a rectilinear space and his later works were displayed on angled walls and curved corners; very similar to his later fascination with curvilinear geometries. The work had a definite chronological progression, but not in the usual early to late work one comes to expect. The most iconic pieces of his work were displayed earlier in your transition through the gallery. Between the galleries, the frames of the entrances were lined with mirrors, creating a sense that the exhibition space continued through the openings. Although the mirrors did open up the space, creating a continuous experience of Mr. Goldberg’s work, it made us feel uneasy, because as you were in line with the mirrors, all you could see was yourself repeated over and over again, making you focus on your reflection not the work exhibited.
We toured the exhibit and discovered phenomenal sketches, hand drafted plans and models that exemplified the understanding of the projects, some of them as big as 4-5 feet tall, others were just big enough for a person to pick up and really grasp the project. His plans showed geometries with detailed measurements, and his diagrams were full of color and where easily understood with a simple glance, this for us, helped us understand the importance of a clear concise diagram. It helped us through the exhibit understand where his ideas came from. His perspectives were mixed media that included photographs from the site with the rendered hand drawn perspectives as well as water colors, just like the workshop we had last semester! We both watched a video on how the towers were actually made and watched footage of them pouring the concrete slabs for each floor. Working with concrete creatively challenged him to think of space in a new way, which was reflected in the forms that his buildings took. Creating a building with a radial plan gave him the ability to give every apartment a view of the city that surrounded them, because of that great advantage; he sought to take down any obstacle in his way. Dividing the building in wedges created an opportunity space for solving the structural aspect of the project. Thanks to concrete and how it can withstand great compression forces Mr. Goldberg created a building that minimized the space needed for the structure. Having a structural core eliminated the interior columns and created exterior columns that helped divide the spaces wedges and apartments giving them not only a structural aspect but also a functional one. The radial plan also helped him created a symmetrical plan inside an irregular shape. It’s interesting to relate this building with Crown Hall. Both symmetrical and minimal in design but different materials. The floor plan of Marina works just like crown except for concrete allows for more creative freedom.
Towards the end we started finding more and more grid like-plans, moving away from his radial plans and wedges. If I had not seen marina city or some of the other well-known works I would have never guessed that these last drawings were his. This was interesting to think that not all architects start with that this phenomenal idea and are instantly a hit at a young age. It takes practice and experience. On the last wall we were admiring some early drawings and found a lot of creative sketches. For example, a design for a jack in the box caught our eyes. It was on display next to some furniture pieces. This got us thinking. Architects are well rounded individuals. We look for inspiration all around us. From the food that we eat to the toys we play with. We are curious individuals always asking how and why certain things are the way they are.
Experiencing all of Mr. Goldberg’s work as an art form has made us appreciate his architecture more. Now every time we pass by any of the buildings, we can’t help and look back at all of the compiled worked and know the process that had to be taken to make such icons of the city possible.
Here are the links to the Movie about Marina City produced by the Portland Cement Association:
Part 1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R3jyeNB5OE
John Ronan Architects
Images of exhibit (Goldbergphotos).
Spring Warmup Competition Results
Congratulations to all the participants and award winners
Official Jury Selections
Third Place (tie)
Audience Choice Awards
Combined Audience Choice Winner
Runner Up Combined
Matthews Del Salto
“ Whoever sets foot in some peaceful haven of the Cistercian, whoever comes upon a scene of ruins in the snow, a church choir forgotten in the woods, a monastery perched on the Pyrenean cliffs, is moved by them. Solemnity, calm and dignity speak from the stones. Some part of everyone knows the longing for unconditional self-commitment, which gave these works birth; renouncing the world, living in an isolated community, in which each day is to be imbued with special meaning by that ultimate Truth of daring ideal, that through unceasing meditation upon God and his incessant praise one’s self may be forgotten and yet found. The monastic ideal represents one of humanity’s truly imposing designs for living.”
Excerpt from: Braunfels, Wolfgang. Monasteries of Western Europe: The Architecture of the Orders.
As we have discussed, the Monastery project has been chosen specifically because of it’s incredibly strong programmatic nature, and it’s inward focus. A Monastery might be a program that you may understand lightly on the surface, but in order to design, you will need to investigate and research in a manner you have likely not yet undertaken thus far in your architectural education.
A Monastery will afford us the opportunity to put our curiosities to work, and design primarily through the potentials of programming, which will be our first step.
– perform thorough research on an unknown building typology
– develop agendas, hypothesis and hunches based on authentic research
– perform thorough programmatic analysis and discovery of the program based on your agendas
– research and document specific monastery precedents for comparison and analysis
– develop a specific building program from your research and building planning exercises
Design a Roman Catholic Cistercian (Trappist) Monastery for 12 monks and an Abbott. The Monastery should include:
– A Cloister
– A Chapel, with entry space, for a congregation of 120 people not including the monks.
– The primary spaces and subsequent support spaces of a Monastery including a Chapterhouse, a library for a collection of 10,000 books, a scriptorium combined with the novices day room, and a refectory with hand washing lavatorium , kitchen and storage.
– Individual sleeping cells for the 12 monks and the abbot.
– Sufficient building support space such as mechanical and electrical rooms.
It will be assumed that the Trappist Monks will farm a local field and sell their produce to support themselves, but that the buildings and equipment necessary for those functions will be adjacent to but not part of your Monastery. The design of these facilities is not to be included as part of your semester project, but understanding the daily routines, rituals and circulation paths to and from the farm will be critical.
There will be three initial steps in two phases – an initial research and precedent phase followed by a programmatic analysis phase. These phases will be described in more detail in subsequent blog posts.